JGSWS meets on the second Monday of each month, from September through June. Admission is free.

NEXT MEETING (via Zoom):  

"History of Jews in the Russian Empire and an Introduction to Record Types,"
presented by Ellie Vance

Monday, May 13, 2024, at 7 PM PDT via Zoom
(Zoom doors open at 6:30 PM)

The JGSWS invites you to attend this meeting via Zoom. Zoom doors open at 6:30 PM for attendees to network and catch up with each other. The presentation begins at 7 PM. Registration is required.

To register for this meeting, click this link or copy it into your web browser:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


At its peak, it is estimated that over 5 million Jews lived in the Pale of Settlement. We will discuss the history of Jews in the Russian Empire and Pale of Settlement and common Russian Empire record types including metrical books (birth, death, marriage, divorce), revision lists, the 1897 Census, military records and much more. We'll also learn about locations where these records can be found online as well as how to navigate archives and archival finding aids. Join us to learn techniques and strategies on researching in the former Russian Empire!


Ellie Vance graduated from Brigham Young University with degrees in Russian and Family History and Genealogy. She worked as the Slavic research specialist for the FamilySearch Library and currently works as a technical historical records expert at FamilySearch, where she provides data for machine learning and indexing of Russian genealogical documents. Ellie enjoys helping others trace their roots in the former Russian Empire.

June 10, 2024: Susan Weinberg, "Crossing the Ocean: US Records to Ancestral Towns"
September 9, 2024: Ellie Vance, "Navigating Russian Records for the Non-Russian Speaker"